Last Saturday night into Sunday morning acts of profanation were committed in the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette military cemetery near the city of Arras in the department of Pas-de-Calais. One hundred forty-eight Muslim tombs were desecrated. It is one more of a long series of acts of cemetery vandalism that have plagued France for many years, but when the tombs affected are Muslim or Jewish, there is usually an uproar of indignation, while desecrated Christian tombs receive much less publicity. It is this double standard that angers many nationalists, especially since it leads to a rekindling of feelings of guilt in ethnic Frenchmen, cowed into believing their country is a hotbed of racists.
This summary is from L'Express.
Four young persons were placed in custody for one day before being released.
Note: This article does not indicate the ethnicity of the four, but other articles lead one to believe they were white males.
"The four youths were released late in the afternoon. The D.A. felt that there wasn't enough evidence to detain them longer," declared captain Jacky Lefort to Reuters (...)
Jean-Pierre Valensi, State prosecutor of Arras had spoken on Sunday of a possible "skinhead" connection, but Jacky Lefort refused to confirm this. "I insist that all hypotheses are possible, the inquiry is proceeding on its course," said Lefort.
The discovery on Sunday morning of 148 tombs covered with obscenities painted in black, targeting Islam and the Minister of Justice Rachida Dati, as well as a severed pig's head, aroused general indignation.
Nicolas Sarkozy promised that the perpetrators would be "punished as they deserve" and spoke of an act of "the most inadmissible racism."
Large forces of gendarmes were mobilized to look for traces of DNA on the tombstones.
Previously, on April 19, 2007, swastikas and Nazi inscriptions had been painted on 52 tombs in the same Muslim sector of this cemetery. Three young "skinheads" were arrested at the time. Two adults, 18 and 21, were sentenced to two years in prison, one with parole, and a minor of 16 received 7 months in prison with parole. They have all since been freed.
Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, the largest military cemetery in France, dedicated to the combatants of WWI, contains 40,000 tombs including 576 Muslims grouped together in one sector.
Le Salon Beige reveals other acts of profanation, committed at the same time as those reported above, at the Saint-Eloi cemetery in La Rochelle. According to the prosecutor:
"About 30 crosses were removed and turned upside down. One of them was broken. Several inscriptions of a Satanic nature were found on the ground in front of several chapels. The interiors of the six chapels were blackened by fire lit with refuse or plastic jars (...) The common grave for children was desecrated."
Le Salon Beige wonders if the outcry over La Rochelle will match that generated by the crime in Arras:
(...) Judicial investigation, condemnation of "racist" acts (is religion a race?) by government agencies, from the president to the political parties, not to mention the prime minister and ministers of immigration, justice and veterans, the MRAP, the CRAN, the grand rabbi of France, the bishop of the diocese, the CFCM, which is calling for a multi-faith reunion....
Note: MRAP, CRAN, and CFCM are all associations that protect blacks and Muslims, although theoretically MRAP is against all racism and anti-Semitism. I said "theoretically"...
Finally, Pierre Vial, founder of Terre et Peuple, asks with regard to the profanation in Arras:
Why do such acts? Who does these things? From all evidence, individuals who are manipulated idiots. But the real question is: on behalf of whom and of what? At the very moment when the question of national identity is raised more and more pointedly, when so many activists make us believe that the future of France and of Europe cannot happen without Africanization, it is only right to wonder about the exploitation of justified anger following such acts. Good questions. And the answers are easy to detect.
The "skinheads" of France are a useful tool for the Left, and for the Muslims. They conjure up memories of Nazis, and are often associated with some neo-Nazi movement. By vandalizing Muslim tombs they arouse sympathy for Muslims, and by extension for immigrants. By vandalizing Jewish tombs they arouse sympathy for Jews, not to mention memories of the war. By exhibiting racist behavior they arouse contempt from the media and fuel the anti-racism movement. But many questions remain as to their motives: do they act on their own, or are they mercenaries employed or manipulated by someone else? It is always convenient to blame them, but never convenient to analyze who really benefits from their actions.